Travellin’ Travellin’ Travellin’ (Spendin’ Spendin’ Spendin’)

Sometimes we leave town, and it costs a lot of money. Other times we leave town, and it costs less money. But it almost always costs money. Here are the places I have gone and am going, and what it cost or will cost me to get there (what I spend  when there is a different matter. I only go visit friends or family, really, so it ranges from zero dolllars to all of the dollars at my disposal, usually).

When I lived in Los Angeles, Calif. I went or would go:
• To San Francisco, Calif. (Fly, $150 to $200)
• To Norfolk, Va. (Fly, $300 to $500 or free, if my parents missed me)

When I lived in San Diego, Calif. I went or would go:
• To Los Angeles, Calif. (Drive, $50 roundtrip, or train, $80 roundtrip, terrible idea don’t do this)
• To Norfolk, Va. (Fly, $300 to $500 roundtrip, or free, if my parents missed me)

When I lived in Portland, Ore. I went or would go:
• To Los Angeles, Calif. (Fly, $250 to $300 roundtrip)
• To San Francisco, Calif. (Fly, $200 to $250 roundtrip, or free one time when my cousin missed me)
• To Norfolk, Va. (Fly, $300 to $500 roundtrip, or free, if my parents missed me)
• To New York, N.Y. (Fly, $200 to $500, roundtrip)
• To Seattle, Wash. (Drive, $60 roundtrip, usually split two or three ways)
• To San Juan Islands, Wash. (Drive, $90 roundtrip, split two ways)
• To the Oregon Coast, Ore. (Drive, $20 roundtrip, split two or three or four ways) 

When I lived in Norfolk, Va. I went or would go:
• To Washington, D.C. (Drive, $50 roundtrip, split two ways, or free if my parents were driving or train, $80 roundtrip)
• To Richmond, Va. (Drive, $30 roundtrip)
• To Charlottesville, Va. (Drive, $45 roundtrip)
• To New York, N.Y. (Drive, $150 for gas and tolls roundtrip, or train, $180 roundtrip)
• To Germany and then London  (Fly, $950 roundtrip plus $300 intra-country travel)

Now I live in New York, N.Y. I am going or have gone:
• To Norfolk, Va. (Fly, $150 to $200, or free if my parents miss me)
• To Washington, D.C. (Bus, $40 to $50 roundtrip)
• To Beacon, N.Y. (Train, $30 to $40 roundtrip)
• To New Haven, Conn. (Train, $30 to $40 roundtrip)
• To Burlington, Vt. (Bus, $25 to $40 roundtrip)
• To New Paltz, N.Y. (Bus, $41 roundtrip)

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22 Comments / Post A Comment

probs (#296)

Why does the train never seem to be worth it?

@probs i knowwwww. it’s usually costs the same as to fly but takes a zillion times as long. is a sad bummer of a thing.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

@Logan Sachon There is only one section of the country where it’s worth it to take the train: the east coast, for Boston – NYC or NYC – DC. $50 each way (purchased far enough in advance) is more than the bus, but less than flying. You can show up fifteen minutes before the train, no dealing with the TSA, and the train stations are way more convenient to get to than the airports, especially in NYC. It’s comfy, there are outlets but usually the wifi doesn’t work, and you get there in about 3.5 hours. No worries about traffic, like with the bus. I LOVE the Northeast Regional. And if you think about it, flying from NYC to Boston or DC takes just as long as the train when you account for getting to the airport and sitting there forever.

Spinach Party (#253)

@Logan @RachelG8489 Maybe not as comfy as the train, but with the Bolt bus you can sometimes get tickets between 1-10 bucks. (between Boston and NYC with stops in New Haven, etc) Never done it myself, but plenty of friends seem to do it all the time.

i have heard rumor of $1 fares, but i do not plan ahead so i’ve never caught them.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

@Logan Sachon I have seen the $1 fares! Once I bought a $15 fare and then it displayed the $1 fare as the next ticket. That was depressing.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

@Spinach Party Oh, I BoltBus all the time. Especially if I’m paying for it myself and don’t need to worry about the timing. Usually it’s closer to $15-18 each way, but that’s still dirt cheap. The thing is, you hit traffic so much on the buses. I’ve had bus rides take 6 hours instead of 4.5 hours.

My parents live in DC and I’m in NYC, so if I’m with them for a weekend and can swing a train ticket back, it means that I can be sure I will get in mostly on time and not be a zombie at work on Monday. Also useful for crazy traffic weekends- I plan to buy train tickets for Thanksgiving WAY in advance.

probs (#296)

@Logan Sachon it is a bummer, because I want to like the train, but instead I hate it. As noted by RachelG, the Northeast Regional is a big exception. I took the train from Richmond to Durham and it was terrible. DC to Wilmington I did twice even though it made little sense. I even took the train from Richmond to Fredericksburg (???), but I was basically bad-trip high on post-graduation feelings. The train, man.

Kate (#1,408)

I love The Billfold, but I don’t really understand the point of this article. I love to talk about how much things cost, but this just seems weird and unnecessary.

Marissa (#467)

@Kate I think it’s kind of interesting. I never thought to add up the costs of all my flights over the years. It’s a lot!

Spinach Party (#253)

Beacon and New Haven are constantly in my travel loop. I’ll be in New Haven tonight to pick up all my NY Mags accumulating at my old apartment. And Beacon next weekend to visit my new nieces Scritch and Scratch. (They are chickens).

And the rest of the time will be spent in Stamford, CT, where no one goes because it is SUPER LAME! (Although G. Love and Special Sauce will be playing on Thursday, so there’s that, at least.)

bgprincipessa (#699)

@Spinach Party Thank goodness those aren’t children’s names.

Spinach Party (#253)

@bgprincipessa My Sis-in-Law also nicknamed two tadpoles “Hip” and “Hop”. I’m sort of worried/excited about future real nieces and nephews. You never know.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@Spinach Party They might be safe as long as she doesn’t have twins.

Robin (#1,320)

So… Americans really hate travelling outside of the USA. Is that what I’m supposed to get from this?

i don’t know that you’re supposed to get anything, but to be clear: i love travelling outside the u.s. but, hard/expensive to do in a weekend!

navigateher (#555)

@Robin Seriously? Just because someone hasn’t been travelling outside their home country a lot during a certain period doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to, I thought this much was obvious. There are numerous factors, such as time (!) and money (!) that prohibit people from doing what they want to. Also, if you have to travel inside your own country as much as Logan for example (family & friends in different states, travel for studies, work etc.) there’s not that much money left to travel anywhere else. I think this piece made at least that very clear.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@navigateher I completely agree with what you said here. Family and friend obligations can make it very difficult to plan travel strictly for fun to where YOU want to go – and this isn’t a complaint! I understand and am grateful that I have family/friends that want to see me. Also, I don’t think it’s fair to say we don’t like to travel outside of our country – do you have any idea how big this country is? It’s much easier to travel from one country to another in, for example, Europe, as the countries are much more systemized together (EU) and usually closer together.

navigateher (#555)

@bgprincipessa Agreed, it takes me an hour or two to get to several European capitals, and for as little $50-$100. It’s so easy and cheap that going to for example Tallinn or Stockholm doesn’t really even count as “travelling” in here. Flights to some destinations can sometimes be a lot more expensive though than in Central Europe or USA.

la_di_da (#1,425)

@Robin I agree with navigateher, for serious? It’s not so much that we don’t want to go, as much as it takes crossing oceans and spending 3 or 4 months worth of rent just to get there.

That being said, living in NYC means that its $120 round trip to Montreal, which is my next vacation. That is the closest “foreign” country I’ve got.

DillyBean (#483)

To the extent that you can generalize from the experience of one person to a country with a population of 311 million. Also, depending on where you live, the nearest foreign country can be very, very far away. I live in Maine, and aside from Canada, the nearest foreign countries are all about 1000 miles away.

TIL Logan lived in Norfolk (in Ghent?).

Why would you ever fly to NYC from Norfolk when you could have taken the Chinatown bus for $40 round trip? It only took an alarmingly quick 5 hours sometimes on Apex Bus (probably part of the reason they got shut down). I have heard of the mythical $1 fares, too, but never actually found them.

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